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Cyber Security Awareness Campaigns: Why do they fail to change behaviour?

Bada, Maria, Sasse, Angela, Nurse, Jason R. C. (2015) Cyber Security Awareness Campaigns: Why do they fail to change behaviour? In: International Conference on Cyber Security for Sustainable Society. (KAR id:67511)


The present paper focuses on Cyber Security Awareness Campaigns, and aims to

identify key factors regarding security which may lead them to failing to appropriately

change people’s behaviour. Past and current efforts to improve information-security

practices and promote a sustainable society have not had the desired impact. It is

important therefore to critically reflect on the challenges involved in improving information security

behaviours for citizens, consumers and employees. In particular, our work

considers these challenges from a Psychology perspective, as we believe that

understanding how people perceive risks is critical to creating effective awareness

campaigns. Changing behaviour requires more than providing information about risks and

reactive behaviours – firstly, people must be able to understand and apply the advice, and

secondly, they must be motivated and willing to do so – and the latter requires changes to

attitudes and intentions. These antecedents of behaviour change are identified in several

psychological models of behaviour. We review the suitability of persuasion techniques,

including the widely used ‘fear appeals’. From this range of literature, we extract essential

components for an awareness campaign as well as factors which can lead to a

campaign’s success or failure. Finally, we present examples of existing awareness

campaigns in different cultures (the UK and Africa) and reflect on these.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science
T Technology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 16:39 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:55 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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